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Under Water, Over Land
Tools & Techniques for Nature, Outdoors, Wildlife & Underwater Videography.


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Old December 2nd, 2005, 11:29 PM   #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meryem Ersoz
...i have a question for jeff sayre. in a different post on a different thread, lauri kettunen said that the wimberley head was not a good fit with XL cams and long lenses because that combo is too heavy for a friction-based system. but you say on this thread that you are using the wimberley head. what camera/lens combination are you using on the wimberley head?

the reason i'm asking is because kirk is now making a wimberley-like head (the king cobra head) which seems sturdier than than the wimberley (at least in its photos):

http://www.kirkphoto.com/cobra.html

i have a 516 head which works well with an XL2/long lens, but it weighs a ton and is hard to pack and needs big legs. i'm thinking something wimberley-ish might work better, but the reports seem somewhat conflicting on whether wimberley heads are good with this combo or better reserved for DSLR usage only.

can jeff or anyone else enlighten me?
Meryem:

Thanks for the question. I use two different lens/camera combinations on my Wimberley Head. First of all, I have the full-sized Wimberley Head, not the smaller Wimberley Sidekick Head. (http://www.tripodhead.com)

I use:

*Digital Canon SLR with various high-end telephoto lenses
*Sony HDV Z1U--with built in lens--cry :( [Yeah, maybe a canon XL H1 with interchangeable lenses is in my future]

Both combinations work very well with my Wimberley Head--no weight, lens length, or friction issues.

When you consider that a Canon Telephoto EF 600mm f/4.0L lens + digital camera can weigh over 15 pounds and be almost 2 feet in length, it is hard to believe that Lauri Kettunen said that "the wimberley head was not a good fit with XL cams and long lenses because that combo is too heavy for a friction-based system."

The beauty of gimbal mounts (like the Wimberley Head) is that it allows the user to find the center of gravity of the lens/camera system and virtually make it seem weightless when adjusted properly. There are four ways to adjust the head system to establish a perfect weightless feel.

Now Lauri might have been talking about the Wimberley Sidekick Head which is intended for smaller and lighter systems. However, the full-sized Wimberley Head is a fabulous system that works extremely well. However, beware that it is a heavy head (it adds another 4+ pounds to your tripod) and is bulky to pack (although it breaks down into three parts). Wimberley has just introduced a reengineered version of their full-sized Wimberley Head. It weighs about a pound less and I believe has two not three parts.

If you can stand the extra weight, I would consider buying the Wimberley Head. I do not have any experience with the King Cobra head but it looks like it is trying to compete with Wimberley's Sidekick and not their full-sized head.

Check out this Wimberley webpage for an example of a setup with a high-end 600mm lens: http://www.tripodhead.com/products/wimberley-main.cfm

The only issue I have using my Sony Z1U with the Wimberley head is that is is sort of difficult to access the mounting-plate release since the video camera is almost too wide for the mount. I have to remove the side-mounted hand strap from the camera to successfully mount it on the head.

Good luck!
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Old December 3rd, 2005, 01:18 AM   #92
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thanks very much, jeff. i always appreciate how thoughtful your responses are.....

my main concern remains that i still would like someone to weigh in on the XL2/EF adapter/long lens combo with the wimberley head, because there's three connecting parts which makes for an oddly balanced system (the Z1, by comparison, is a very balanced cam with fewer moving parts, so to speak). it's more of an issue of the unwieldiness than the actual weight which concerns me. i wonder how that mess would balance, compared to the Z1.

i need a demo, but i don't know anyone who owns the wimberley. it looks potentially promising, but would be a pricey mistake to purchase blindly, especially since my 516 does a fine job--it's just a brick to carry!
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Old December 4th, 2005, 02:38 AM   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meryem Ersoz
...my main concern remains that i still would like someone to weigh in on the XL2/EF adapter/long lens combo with the wimberley head, because there's three connecting parts which makes for an oddly balanced system
The issue is with the fulcrum point. If your camera-lens system is attached to the head via a plate on the camera, then the combination would create an unbalanced lever. However, if the system is attached by a foot off of a lens ring, balance can be created by moving the position of the fulcrum closer to the axis of rotation of the head.

This latter set up is exactly what is done with the very large (and heavy) Canon 600 telephoto lens systems. The system is attached to a plate via a lens ring and not on the camera. (see the Wimberley product catalog for examples: http://www.tripodhead.com/WimberleyProductCatalogue.pdf)

What kind of a lens are you using with your XL2? Does it have a lens ring to which a mounting plate can be attached? If so, you will need to purchase a sliding mounting plate that allows you to adjust the position of the camera-lens system so that the system's center of gravity is centered at the axis of rotation of the head.

As I mentioned, there are four adjustments with the full-sized Wimberley Head that allow you to precisely position your camera-lens system to achieve the weightless feel. However, your system must allow you to attach it to the head in such a way that the center of gravity can be successfully manipulated.
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Old December 4th, 2005, 10:50 AM   #94
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that makes a lot of sense. i get what you're saying about creating a fulcrum system based on finding the unit's center of gravity. my canon 70-200mm lens has a tripod collar to which a long sliding lens plate can be attached. my concern is that the range of available adjustments, even with a long lens plate, will not be adequate to find the still point, so to speak, of such a bulky and unevenly balanced camera/lens unit with so many "moving parts", so i was hoping to get some idea of how you were using yours and with what systems. and wondering if anyone else here has tried the wimberley head with XL2/long lens combos. i can see where this would work nicely with the Z1, because it is already a very evenly balanced camera and the lens does not have a separate attachment, which could be weakened by the weight-bearing of a fulcrum system. and a dSLR, compared to an XL2, does not put much weight stress on the point of connection between the lens and the camera.

ron armstrong has this issue solved, and his system looks really nice, but i am trying to find a more portable solution. but "portable" and "XL2/EF adapter/long lens" are completely antithetical!
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Old December 5th, 2005, 10:38 PM   #95
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Meryem:

I would suggest calling the Wimberley people directly and describe your situation. I've called them on several occasions before. They were always nice and very helpful. I believe they would tell you if they felt your set up would not work with their systems.

Jeff
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Old December 12th, 2005, 04:56 PM   #96
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wildlife video

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mick Jenner
I would love to see a forum specially dedicated to wildlife videoing as opposed to 16mm film. I am sure that with this forums worldwide membership it would be well supported. It would also enable those with a need for specific animal/bird/plant footage to contact a person that location to obtain it for you or to help you location details etc

Yep, great idea.

Regards

Mick
I don't have much to offer Mick, but I have begun to use XM2 to shoot griffon vultures in flight at 2 gorges in Crete, Selinari and Seli Ambelou and at Pena Falcon in Extremadura, Spain for black stork, griffons, eagle owl and imperial eagle. Good close-ups were brief indeed but the XM2 was quite good for footage from above of griffon gliding at c.100/200 metres particularly from top of east-facing edge of Seli Ambelou. With practice and patience I should do much better at these 3 locations.

Lumbier, east of Pamplona, Spain also has a resident population of griffons but their daytime haunts there are on lowland with no cliffs nearby and any flight is a matter of flapping away from me which does not facilitate good stills or footage.

What have you been up to and what are you using? Have you tried digiscoping?
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Old December 17th, 2005, 03:49 PM   #97
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chris mentioned today that he is considering opening a special interest forum for wildlife videography at this thread:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...643#post396643

go there and encourage him!!!!! we need another display of public interest!

solidarnscz....
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Old December 18th, 2005, 11:33 AM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brendan Marnell
I don't have much to offer Mick, but I have begun to use XM2 to shoot griffon vultures in flight at 2 gorges in Crete, Selinari and Seli Ambelou and at Pena Falcon in Extremadura, Spain for black stork, griffons, eagle owl and imperial eagle. Good close-ups were brief indeed but the XM2 was quite good for footage from above of griffon gliding at c.100/200 metres particularly from top of east-facing edge of Seli Ambelou. With practice and patience I should do much better at these 3 locations.

Lumbier, east of Pamplona, Spain also has a resident population of griffons but their daytime haunts there are on lowland with no cliffs nearby and any flight is a matter of flapping away from me which does not facilitate good stills or footage.

What have you been up to and what are you using? Have you tried digiscoping?
Hi Brendon,
I'm sorry for the delay in replying to to the above, returned yesterday from filming a train journey across the Andes in Peru( Cucso to Puno) not much footage on wildlife unless you want Alpaca's, Lama's and wild Guinea Pigs. To reply to you, I don't think you need to have a lot footage, but more importantly its the fact that if somebody requires a particular or specfic shot they can make request for it , hopefully on the new forum that Chris is going to set up.
Incidently my main interest is Bristish Wildlife and in particular Red Deer , but I do have quite a lot of footage on exotics mainly from Africa ,Asia and Central America.
I am at present useing a Z1 usually with a 1.6 century converter. I tend to research the subject I'm after and position myself so it comes to me, rather than use a camera with a long lens. Does require a lot of time and patience.
No, I have not tried digiscoping.
regards

Mick
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Old December 19th, 2005, 08:22 AM   #99
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Well it sounds like Chris is listening to the group and may do a Wildlife forum. That would be great. I have videoed all over the US as well as Africa, Amazon. Patagonia and places in between. However, my best macro shots of insects were done in my yard in Atlanta. As I have said in other posts, you don't have to go halfway around the world to find wildlife, wildlife is all around you, just go look for it. Bob
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Old December 19th, 2005, 08:38 AM   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Safay
Well it sounds like Chris is listening to the group and may do a Wildlife forum.
Done: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/forumdisplay.php?f=111
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Old December 22nd, 2005, 07:28 AM   #101
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ALL RIGHT!!!!! Hey Chris, Thanks!!!!!! Bob
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